Sunday, February 21, 2010

The best brunches last all day.

And during those brunches that last for hours, you sometimes run out of orange juice, even when you still have plenty of vodka and prosecco.  It sounds like a sad state of affairs.  But today, with a little pinch of resourcefulness, it lead to the creation of a fabulous hybrid dessert cocktail…one that is sure to be repeated on purpose in the future.

After planning to serve my dear guests a popover-bacon-triple-berry-compote feast, I wanted to find a light dessert to offer them after.  My only inspiration was a bounty of gorgeous blood oranges hanging out in the fridge. 

Enter, granita.  Granita is basically Italian Ice – a slushy concoction made with fruit syrup and juice.  I’ve always been kind of skeptical about making my own because even in the pages of M-Stew’s Everyday Food, it looks like a bland, icy mess.

Not so.  And it just so happens that in a pinch, it pairs devastatingly well with prosecco to create a sort of adult Slush Puppie beverage.  Matched with some squares of super dark chocolate, it was the perfect dessert.  So perfect in fact that the picture above is all that was left.

Blood Orange Granita Prosecco Cocktails
Serves about 6

6 blood oranges (I don’t care what anyone says, this will only yield about 1 ½ cups of juice…cara cara are juicier, so you could throw in a few of those too!)

¼ cup sugar

2 bottles of your favorite prosecco (I really like il, which is available in most liquor stores)

Juice oranges to yield about 1 ½ cups of juice.  In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1/8 cup blood orange juice.  Boil over high heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a shallow glass baking dish and add the remaining blood orange juice.  Stir to combine.

Freeze mixture, scraping around the sides and breaking crystals with a fork every 30 minutes for 2 hours total.  Cover with plastic and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

When you’re ready to assemble the cocktails, remove the granita from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes.  Break up the crystals again to form a firm slush.

Fill champagne flutes halfway with granita, then top with prosecco. 

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